In a revealing interview with Rolling Stone magazine, CNN anchor Jake Tapper said that while the two presidents are very different in their conduct, former president Obama benefited from generous media coverage compared to President Trump.
The host of “The Lead” sat down with Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene for an interview published Tuesday in which they discussed the state of political journalism in 2017. After 8 years of covering Obama, to the media circus that has been the first 8 months of the Trump presidency, Tapper says he does worry about a shift to ideological rather than fact-based reporting.
“I do think there is a sort of confirmation bias that some media outlets feed and it does trouble me because I try not to do that,” Tapper said in an interview published Tuesday. “Look, there’s always going to be a place for ideological and even partisan journalism. That’s been true as long as this nation has been around, and I think that’s great, but I think it’s great as a supplement to more straight news.”
Tapper has shown the ability to be introspective about the role of media before, criticizing pundits for their predispositions about Trump supporters back in 2016.
Tapper hasn’t escaped the Trump administration’s wrath in denouncing CNN’s reporting of Trump’s falsehoods and mistakes but noted he covered Obama the same way. Naturally, liberals have changed their tune in their characterizations of his journalistic integrity.
“A lot of people on the left didn’t like it before, and now they like it,” Tapper replied. “I don’t want to compare President Obama and President Trump on these issues because they’re different, and the scale isn’t even remotely the same. But President Obama said things that weren’t true and got away with it more for a variety of reasons, and one is the media was much more supportive of him. The Obama White House thought I was self-righteous and a huge pain in the ass.”
Tapper’s sentiment is intriguing, and a reflection that despite the seeming unprecedented behavior of the current administration and the media’s reaction to it, it’s still just a rotating spoke on a wheel that’s direction has not wavered.
Tapper concluded the interview with optimism, saying he expects “something good to come out of this era.”
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